1pix.gif (43 bytes) 1pix.gif (43 bytes) 1pix.gif (43 bytes) 1pix.gif (43 bytes) 1pix.gif (43 bytes) 1pix.gif (43 bytes) 1pix.gif (43 bytes)
Action for Airfields - Supporters network helping to support airfields now and for the future Action for Airfields - Supporters network helping to support airfields now and for the future
Make a donation to the GAAC

Search the A4A web

1pix.gif (807 bytes) 1pix.gif (807 bytes)
22/05/01 GAAC Seminar Notes
Our Neighbours are NOT the Enemy - Little Gransden

John Jefferies
Airfield Director
Little Gransden

The airfield at Little Gransden began its aerodrome life in 1966 and by 1992 a total of 7 hangars (accommodating approximately 70 aircraft) and 3 runways (one of which was later to be licensed) had been built. A small aircraft related business was established and business generally was going well. However, in 1992 the first planning difficulties were encountered. South Cambridgeshire District Council issued a Planning Contravention Notice. The first impact was a loss of customers due to the uncertainties surrounding the planning issue.

The aerodrome owners response was an application for a lawful development certificate based on at least 10 years continuous use. Initial consultations with the council went well, but the organisation of opposition under the title of Cambridgeshire Airfields Action Group (CAAG) started to make things difficult. CAAG circulated a leaflet which was perceived as scare-mongering and which forced the airfield to respond with its own leaflet. The council being an elected body, its planning committee became conscious of public opinion, a concern which began to inform its decisions. As the influence of CAAG increased, an inquiry became inevitable. In 1995 the first enforcement notice against the airfield was issued, and the stage was set for a full public inquiry.

The inquiry was scheduled to last 2-3 days. It actually lasted some 17 days, with all the associated costs for lawyers and planning consultants. Evidence was meticulously gathered and prepared and a good overall knowledge of the case and easy retrieval of even the slightest scrap of evidence proved invaluable. On more than one occasion flaws and inconsistencies in the opposition case were exposed as a result. Support for both sides was expressed in writing in roughly equal numbers, although the objectors camp had produced a standard proforma letter whilst those of the airfield supporters were individually written. Support from the local community was based on the genuine place of the airfield operators within that community. The family had been farming the land since the 1920's, were well established in the community, and were able to draw on contacts there for support (to the extent that a petition was raised quite spontaneously, and some supporters have gone on to take up flying lessons).

The decision of the planning inspector, based in part on the premise that a 6 fold increase in movements did not constitute a material planning consideration, was announced in favour of the airfield in April 1999. The airfield owners are currently pursuing the council for the considerable costs of the inquiry.

vertline100.gif (88 bytes)
vertline100.gif (88 bytes)
vertline100fade.gif (387 bytes)
If you have any airfield news you would like to share you can contact us via e-mail

Notes taken at the GAAC seminar;
"The Future for UK Aerodromes"
4th May 2001
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Seminar Index
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Bleak Future
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)White Waltham
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)
Little Gransden
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Safeguarding
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Quiet Aeroplane

sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)Little Gransden
1pix.gif (807 bytes)Web Site

sm_bull_pdf.jpg (528 bytes)PDF File
sm_bull.jpg (515 bytes)HTML File

More News...

1pix.gif (43 bytes)
lowline.gif (538 bytes)
[ Top of Page ]